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Corporate governance priorities

Key corporate governance priorities for action continue to be:

  • performance monitoring and reporting against our outcomes and outputs framework
  • continuous improvement of corporate governance
  • financial management
  • information technology and knowledge management
  • stakeholder management
  • managing communication flows.

Performance monitoring and reporting against our outcomes and outputs framework

We are continuing to improve the alignment of our performance framework with improved planning and reporting mechanisms across the department using an integrated approach based on a cascaded and articulated system.

There is a clearer and more structured alignment of planning and reporting information in the primary accountability documents: the Portfolio Budget Statements, the Corporate Plan and Client Service Charter, business plans and the Annual Report. During 2003-04 emphasis will be on improving internal quarterly performance reporting, which will lead to strengthened performance reporting for future annual reports.

Continuous improvement of corporate governance

As outlined in Part 2 (pp. 17-20), we are continuing to improve the effectiveness of our governance and will adopt a new committee structure in 2003-04. We also continue to implement an integrated approach to planning and reporting. This is shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Department of Transport and Regional Services planning and reporting

Figure 1: Department of Transport and Regional Services planning and reporting

Financial Management

During 2002-03 we focused on our future funding requirements, based on information developed in preparing our Financial Strategic Plan and our Strategic Asset Management Plan. Guiding our forward budget is the work out/work up strategy-implemented to establish a stable and sustainable funding base.

Work out/work up will strengthen our position to manage departmental activities within budget constraints. The work out/work up strategy is about taking responsible action now to meet necessary future financial pressures and providing capacity for investment in our people and new systems.

The work out/work up strategy will strengthen our financial position. Importantly, it aims also to improve the way the organisation does business. We aim to:

  • strengthen our financial management and decision-making
  • align our governance and structural arrangements with our business needs
  • build agility and flexibility in structures, plans, processes and resource allocation
  • reduce hierarchy, and encourage individual initiative and responsibility
  • identify stronger work planning processes to determine the most important things to deliver
  • embed continuous business process improvement and simplification
  • introduce better performance reporting and performance management.

The work out/work up strategy is being implemented in close consultation with staff. The organisation is working closely together to develop and put in place solutions to improve our business practices. The work out/work up strategy will be a major focus for the department over the year ahead.

Information technology and knowledge management

During 2002-03 we established a new Strategic Information Technology Committee that will endorse a strategic IT plan for the next five years, determine IT funding arrangements within the allocated budget and set and review priorities for existing and proposed IT projects. The governance committees diagram (refer Part 2 p. 19) shows how the committee fits into the overall corporate governance structure.

Implementation of a content management system enhances our knowledge management capability by managing the creation, quality review, metadata tagging, publication and retirement of web materials. It allows standards for the 'look and feel' of the website to be established and maintained.

Stakeholder management

During the year the Group Executive Team developed a comprehensive approach to stakeholder relationship management. The overall objective is to be more proactive and responsive to stakeholder relationship management across the department through a set of principles and tools for managing stakeholder relationships.

Managing communication flows

The communications team has worked with all areas of the department to strongly promote the government's policies and programmes to our transport, regional Australia and local government stakeholders on a range of initiatives such as the Commonwealth Regional Information Service and the release of the AusLink Green Paper. The team provides specialist advice to the department on internal and external communication issues.

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